April 11th my horoscope

How poetic!

A powerful new moon will touch down on your stability-seeking second house of possessions, comfort, and value systems but there’s more, Pisces. Luna will also be forming a harmonious alignment with serious Saturn in your secretive twelfth house of unconscious patterns, and karmic residue. So, whether you’re single or already attached, this energy is encouraging you to release what no longer serves you and in turn, step into your fullest potential. For some of you, this could be a significant other, while the rest of you re-evaluate your current occupation. With Venus in the mix, there’s definitely an emphasis on themes of self-worth, so be sure to honor your boundaries.

Thankful, Grateful & Blessed!

The 3 Biggest Obstacles To Building New Habits

By Shreya Dalela

Think about the last time you decided to build a lasting habit. Perhaps you decided to meditate for at least 20 minutes daily. Or to read at least two pages of a book every single day. The moment you commit to forming a habit feels like an exciting fresh beginning. Often, people get so excited by the potential power of new habits that they go a little overboard and try to establish too many habits at once. I know this from my own struggle of trying to maintain habit streaks.

The longer your list of habit streaks, the more chances are that you’ll burnout in the process of trying to maintain it all.

According to Nir Eyal, the author of Hooked — How To Build Habit-Forming Products, the number one reason people fail to build habits in the long term is that they overwhelm themselves and stop enjoying the process.

Source — Nir Eyal

See, building habits isn’t easy. From my experience, I’ve realized that it’s best to pick up one habit at a time because there are many obstacles that come into the picture when you try to make a long-term change. People in your life might create resistance. The environment may not be conducive enough. An unexpected crisis may show up. Or you might simply find the habit too challenging or boring and lose interest along the way. The 3 biggest obstacles for me when it comes to building a habit are — distractions, lack of enough willpower, and lack of time. Here are some ways in which I overcome these obstacles.

1. Set Up A Timer

When you don’t feel like reading, set the timer and read for just five minutes. When you don’t feel like meditating, set the time and meditate for five minutes. Setting a timer is an act that signals your brain that you are committing to take the action and that for the next five minutes, there is no option to quit. This also eliminates all distractions and interruptions by fighting your mind’s tendency to switch to another action. The timer approach also lets you start small. At the beginning of forming any habit, it’s important that you don’t overwhelm yourself by setting big goals. Lifelong habits are not about stretching yourself too far from your comfort zone on the first day itself. They are about building a foundation and then growing on it day after day.

This is based on the habit-building concept called Habit Stacking shared by James Clear in his book Atomic Habits. Habit Stacking helps people develop positive habits by building on what you already do and time boxing your activities so you can develop consistency. Once you’ve learned to stick to your habits for five minutes, you can easily build top of it.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. — Aristotle

Even on the days when I don’t feel like doing my dance training, I just go to my mat and start with my 15 minute daily stretches. By the end, I feel ready to take on the rest of the training planned for the day. Over years of practice, the habit of performing those 15 minute daily stretches has become the strong foundation that grounds me and lets me build on top of it.

No matter what, I show up and practice my training and mark the progress in my fitness bullet journal.

2. Block Time For It

Simple and mechanical habits are relatively easier to form. You just need to sit down and read or meditate. But what about creative habits? Say, for instance, creating videos for your YouTube channel or any other social media platform every day? It’s easy to say you ‘want’ to do something when you’re not marking time for the activity on the calendar. However, in reality, most things take more time and planning than what we anticipate. According to a YouTube Statistics report, ‘A substantial number of creators, almost 23%, mentioned the lack of time as their top challenge.’ When I started creating daily dance reels for my Instagram page, I faced a similar challenge. It seemed like there wasn’t enough time to create.

Over time I realized that it wasn’t the video creation that took the most amount of time. It was the smaller aspects associated with it — getting to the mindset, preparing the choreography, setting up the lights, and creating the environment. Then came the final part — filming and editing. If you commit a time slot for your creative habits, it helps your prepare and gets all the other aspects sorted, so that you can get to the creation part right away. The most effective way to turn your goal into a habit is to plan ahead. And blocking time for it is the first step.

Creativity is a habit. And the best creativity is the result of good work habits. — Twlya Tharp

For such creative habits, you should also spend some time evaluating if creating daily is the best way to go forward. For instance, Anthony Ongaro from Break The Twitch took up daily videos challenge for 30 days and while it helped him a lot, his parting words were —

At the end of the 30 days, I was underslept, had close to 200 gigabytes of raw video files from the project, and couldn’t wait to ditch the camera on my hip. It was such a relief to not think about filming and getting the two hours per night back from what would have been my nightly editing.”

With creative habits, such streaks might help you get into the habit of executing quickly, but in the long term, you can fix a few filming days in a week to avoid burnout. The same goes for writing as well. You can utilize some days in planning so that your execution is much smoother.

3. Strengthen Your ‘Why’

Why do we fail to commit our goals despite making all efforts to stay accountable? Why is tracking habits in your bullet journal or sharing daily updates about your progress on social media/with your accountability partner, not enough? Because without revisiting your ‘why’s, you quickly lose the willpower to keep showing up. Therefore, invest some time to read and understand more about the habits. Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. For instance, having understood that all the best dancers in the world train for at least 3 hours every day in their respective dance styles, makes me committed to my daily dance training. I know that to become a good dancer, I need to put in the hours to train my body.

Find your why and you’ll find your way. — John C Maxwell

Associating long-term goals with your daily habits is one of the best ways to stick with them. Create a goals page right next to your habit tracker so that every time you log your daily entry, you are reminded why you are doing it in the first place. For instance, when you struggle to make a video, remind yourself of your long-term goal to make money on YouTube. When you struggle to write, remind yourself of your goal to get published with the top publications. When you don’t feel like reading a book, remind yourself of your long-term goal of being more well-read and having an expansive vocabulary. This way, your mind will start forming positive associations to the habit and there will be much less resistance to fight with.

Building a positive habit can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days. Regularity in time and environment is at the core of building a new habit. However, having the right mindset and having a strategic approach to habit-building will help in overcoming obstacles that will come your way. Hope you found the above-mentioned tips usefu

Understanding ‘Energy’ And Your Impact On Your Energetic Environment

By Joshua Allison

Human beings, as well as every living organism, exist within a sea of energy in the form of waves known as frequencies. We humans are not even physical beings but consist of atoms vibrating at similar frequencies. Every organism has the vibrational frequency that it emits, attracting and influencing those around it. This includes humans, where here in the western world, it is commonly known as a “vibe.”

Whether we are aware of it or not, whenever we encounter another or walk into a new environment, our body can sense a change. If another is depressed, sad, anxious, or angry but doesn’t show it externally, their lower vibration can make us uncomfortable. If we walk into a room full of people like this, the feeling can be overwhelming, even claustrophobic.

Shifting energies

Negative emotions have a low frequency, while on the other hand, those with a more balanced sense of self—who always seem to have a good time—tend to be operating at a higher frequency. These people usually have a comforting presence for those of a lower vibe. If one’s frequency is considerably lower than someone with a higher vibrational frequency, it can come off as threatening. However, this may stem from a subconscious sense of jealousy or envy. The thing is, much like a vibrating tuning fork, when another is placed near it, the other will begin to vibrate at the same speed as the first. We work in the same way. Our thoughts and words have their vibrational frequencies as well. I’ll get more into this in a bit, but it is imperative to understand that just because we can’t see something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

We can’t see radio waves, gamma, radiation, etc., but we still know they exist. We can’t see Wi-Fi, yet we know it’s all around us. In the electromagnetic spectrum, we can only see a tiny sliver known as the light spectrum. It represents only about 0.003 percent of all the energy in the universe. Even the “physical” universe that we can detect using the senses makes up only 4 percent of it. With this tiny sliver of light visible to us (0.003% of electromagnetic spectrum), who’s to say there aren’t other beings vibrating at higher or lower frequencies than us? A good way to picture it is with a fan—the slower it spins, the better we can see it, but the faster, the more invisible it becomes.

On Scientism

Scientism is the popular belief of the modern world, but it proves about as much as any religion does—it’s primarily only theory and speculation. Anything that cannot be measured with our artificial tools and measuring devices, such as emotion, intuition, consciousness, etc., gets tossed aside or entirely thrown out, forever considered “pseudoscience”. Any credible scientist who wants to keep their job and reputation knows not to touch these subjects. However, alternative scientists, who aren’t part of the mainstream science community, have discovered all of this. It’s more of a “rediscovery” after proof of such knowledge in eastern cultures, going back to antiquity. Many people may find this hard to believe and may even laugh at the thought of science being compared to religion. What the educational system has failed to teach, among many other truths, is the natural history of science and how it was equal to what’s considered supernatural today.

Renes Descartes’ “Discourse on Method” had reformed Western knowledge’s entire structure and provided the foundations for modern science. Nearly everyone that claims science as absolute truth and lives under the notion of “seeing is believing” doesn’t know that Descartes’ revelations had come to him in three visionary dreams and a dream within a dream, which provided the key for interpreting the more significant dream. In other words, the entire structure of rational, reductionist, positivist science, which today rejects “subjective knowledge,” was initially inspired by a revelation in a non-ordinary state of consciousness.

Eastern gurus, such as Lao Tzu, have made well-known sayings, such as “watch your words” and “watch your thoughts,” for this reason. If one thinks of something or talks of it enough, it can manifest into one’s reality. Hence, the phrase “be careful what you wish for…”

To see this for yourself, I highly recommend looking into Dr. Emoto’s water crystals. The Japanese scientist has shown that our words and intentions can directly affect the molecular structure of water. Depending on age and sex, the human body is about 60 percent water. With that, wouldn’t words and even thoughts affect us? If still not convinced, listen to Norwegian Black Metal for a week straight and tell me it hasn’t had a direct effect on you.

Put out the right frequency every day

When people say “have a nice day” or “drive safely,” they are encouraging those thoughts to permeate in our minds. It feels good to hear positive and uplifting words of encouragement. Conversely, if someone tells you “you’re an idiot” or insults you verbally, you will feel bad, mad, or anxious. We can easily have our emotions and state of mind affected simply by hearing a few words. If hearing a few little words can affect our thought patterns, emotions, and actions, imagine what movies, commercials, and songs can do to the mind.

Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not real. For many, seeing is believing. But what about feeling or any other human sense? Everyone has had a feeling that they initially could not explain. But it is when the mind jumps in the way, trying to reason with the body using the logic we were programmed to use in school (which isn’t the whole truth, keep in mind), that we falsely debunk our own intuitions.

We create our reality by the frequency we each put out, which attracts more of the same. The more conscious we are about our life choices, the more we can keep a higher frequency, which sends ripples of energy out like ripples in a pond, or waves in an ocean, pulsating a positive vibe wherever we go, both internally and externally

Which moon phase was I born under?

There are 8 lunar phases and each one represents a different personality type in astrology. Find your natal moon phase…

Turns out I was born under the Crescent Moon “Waxing Crescent Moon” meant as much to me as to you…

If you were born under this moon phase:

You’re both creative and traditional, a dabbler who loves to learn a little bit about a lot of things. Loyal and dutiful, you have a strong connection to your family and childhood friends. Since you’re naturally accommodating, you may struggle to assert your individuality. Learning to embrace what makes you different is the key to your personal evolution.

How accurate I think this is. I love it, and an proud to have this moon phase.

Thankful, Grateful & Blessed!

How to Bust Down Your Emotional Walls and Get More Intimate

Humans are hardwired for social connection. Without the ease of electricity, running water, or Starbucks drive-throughs, the collective survival of our early ancestors depended on being able to work together; to trust one another.

Emotional intimacy — a closeness between two people who feel safe and secure with each other — is one of the ways we form that trust.

Unfortunately, many of us have built-in barriers that make it difficult to build emotional connections.

For example, depression has been shown to strain romantic relationships while some personality disorders make it hard to get close to other people. Or, if you were raised to hide your emotions, being open and vulnerable in relationships might feel super uncomfortable.

But if emotional intimacy is a mountain in your path, know there are routes to the summit — even if you can’t see them clearly yet. This article will cover what emotional intimacy looks like and how you can cultivate more of it in your life.

Cavan Images/Getty Images

What does emotional intimacy look like?

We often define relationships as being high in emotional intimacy when there’s trust, good communication, and closeness, says Dr. Joti Samra, a registered psychologist and CEO and founder of MyWorkPlaceHealth.

By no means does the relationship need to be sexual in nature, she adds. While emotional intimacy helps hold romantic relationships together, you can be just as emotionally intimate with a platonic friend as with your significant other, she says.

Here are some examples of how emotional intimacy might be expressed and formed:

  • A close friend confides to you that they were bullied as a child. You offer emotional support and listen nonjudgmentally to their experiences.
  • You and your S.O. have a hard conversation over where your relationship is headed. After working through difficulties, you emerge with a healthier bond.
  • You tell your parents about a behavior of theirs that has distressed you. They listen carefully to your complaints and seriously discuss how to improve.
  • After a stressful day at work, you tell a friend that you’re unhappy in your career. They validate your feelings and support you in reaching your own decision.

Don’t confuse emotional intimacy with harmful relationship habits

Emotional intimacy is built on equal communication and trust. If your relationship is one-sided, it may be time to reconsider how that connection is going, says Samra.

For example, unloading your emotional burden on someone to get pity or cause guilt is not being emotionally intimate. Neither is trauma bonding, a term used to describe the bond that forms between a victim and their abuser.

Similarly, depending on another person to the point where it blurs personal boundaries is not emotional intimacy and may be a sign of a codependent relationship.

How to know if there’s a lack of emotional intimacy

According to Samra, if you’re not getting emotional intimacy in a relationship, you might feel:

  • unsafe or that the other person doesn’t have your back
  • on edge and apprehensive when the other person is around
  • unfulfilled by the relationship
  • unheard, unacknowledged, or misunderstood
  • like communication between the two of you is ineffective NEWSLETTERBe your Greatist, every day

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How to get more emotionally intimate with someone

Building emotional intimacy isn’t like baking bread — there’s no set formula. Everyone develops it differently and has differing levels of comfort around it, said Samra.

But you can get the ball rolling by applying some of the following advice.

Work on being an engaged listener

According to Samra, communication is the bedrock of building trust. And real communication happens when people actually hear one another. “It’s being able to hear someone, listen to someone, understand them, and then, behaviorally, to be able to execute and [act] based on what those needs are,” she said.

Problem-solve difficult feelings

If you have high emotional intelligence, identifying and communicating emotions — in yourself or in others — might feel second nature. But know that it might not be so easy for your partner. So when things get tense or hard, start by asking broad questions.

“If someone says they’re upset, [ask] what does that mean? Is it anger? Is it sad? Is it fearful?” says Samra.

If you have trouble putting labels on your emotions, you might find emotion wheels help you get specific.

Leave your comfort zone

Inside each of us is an internal fortress that safeguards all deepest truths, the pieces of ourselves we’ve decided need protecting.

Being vulnerable is like opening up a side door in the castle wall and letting someone else in. It’s a way of signaling that you trust them, and usually it helps the other person feel like they can trust you in return.

Couples, have more (healthy) sex!

If you’re in a partnership, being physically intimate can go a long way in making you feel close to your partner. One study found being sexually satisfied significantly predicted the level of emotional intimacy between married people.

If you want to improve your sex life, a good place to start is working on having emotionally healthy sex.

Create a safe space

Fundamental to building emotional intimacy is asking: What does the other person require for safety and trust? says Samra. In order for the other person to let their guard down and be vulnerable, they first need to feel safe doing so.

Don’t rush the process

Building trust can take time. We shouldn’t expect the other person — nor ourselves — to immediately be comfortable with vulnerability, says Samra.

Check-in questions after an intimate moment

If you want to get a better understanding of an intimate encounter, ask yourself these questions about how it went.

  • Did you feel safe and supported during the interaction?
  • Did you feel like you could have said anything without being judged?
  • Were they invested in what you said, rather than just waiting for their chance to speak?

How to restore emotional intimacy when trust has been broken

Unfortunately, emotional intimacy can also be lost. This can feel devastating and sometimes intensely painful. However, there may be a path toward rebuilding what you lost, if the other person is willing.

  • Take accountability. Own up to what you did, however painful it might be.
  • Apologize (sincerely). It’s important that you really are sorry for what you did; it’s not enough to only say the words. Whether they accept your apology is up to them.
  • Be patient. To rebuild trust, it’s important to give the other person the time and space they need to heal and process.
  • Accept that the relationship will be different now. Although it may be painful, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to return to the relationship as it once was; be prepared to start over from square one, or somewhere close to it.
  • Commit to changing problematic behaviors. You can’t expect to get different results if you keep acting the same way. It’s going to take effort — and maybe professional help — but it’s worth it if you really care about maintaining the relationship.
  • Respect their wishes. The ball is now in their court. You can try your best to rebuild that emotional bond, but if they’re not comfortable trusting you, you have to let them go.

What to do if you’ve been hurt

If someone has hurt you, you might be scared as hell to let them back in. That totally makes sense. Your situation is unique to you but one thing is for sure: you need to get real about how this person affects your life. To help you understand if it’s time to put some distance between you and this person, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do they cause you regular stress and anxiety?
  • Have they broken your trust before?
  • Do they seem genuinely invested in your happiness or are they always focused on themself?
  • Do they put effort into changing problematic behavior?

Don’t depend on one person for all your emotional needs

One of the downfalls of modern day partnerships is that we expect to get all of our needs met by our significant other. Not only is this taxing on both people, it’s pretty limiting to rely on one person’s perspective and advice.

Plus, relationships end. You don’t want to get yourself into a situation where the end of a relationship means the end of your emotional support system.

So in parting, we encourage you to keep up with your platonic relationships, too. Give your best friend — or maybe your mom! — a call tonight. They’ll be happy to hear from you.ADVERTISEMENTAffordable therapy delivered digitally – Try BetterHelp

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What does emotional intimacy look like?

We often define relationships as being high in emotional intimacy when there’s trust, good communication, and closeness, says Dr. Joti Samra, a registered psychologist and CEO and founder of MyWorkPlaceHealth.

By no means does the relationship need to be sexual in nature, she adds. While emotional intimacy helps hold romantic relationships together, you can be just as emotionally intimate with a platonic friend as with your significant other, she says.

Here are some examples of how emotional intimacy might be expressed and formed:

  • A close friend confides to you that they were bullied as a child. You offer emotional support and listen nonjudgmentally to their experiences.
  • You and your S.O. have a hard conversation over where your relationship is headed. After working through difficulties, you emerge with a healthier bond.
  • You tell your parents about a behavior of theirs that has distressed you. They listen carefully to your complaints and seriously discuss how to improve.
  • After a stressful day at work, you tell a friend that you’re unhappy in your career. They validate your feelings and support you in reaching your own decision.

Don’t confuse emotional intimacy with harmful relationship habits

Emotional intimacy is built on equal communication and trust. If your relationship is one-sided, it may be time to reconsider how that connection is going, says Samra.

For example, unloading your emotional burden on someone to get pity or cause guilt is not being emotionally intimate. Neither is trauma bonding, a term used to describe the bond that forms between a victim and their abuser.

Similarly, depending on another person to the point where it blurs personal boundaries is not emotional intimacy and may be a sign of a codependent relationship.

How to know if there’s a lack of emotional intimacy

According to Samra, if you’re not getting emotional intimacy in a relationship, you might feel:

  • unsafe or that the other person doesn’t have your back
  • on edge and apprehensive when the other person is around
  • unfulfilled by the relationship
  • unheard, unacknowledged, or misunderstood
  • like communication between the two of you is ineffective

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today would have been my Mother’s 73rd birthday. She passed away this past November, 2020 was not only the year COVID-19 changed the world but the year I lost my Mother.

Today has been a challenging day. I went to work, and wiped away the tears as they came without invitation. I felt as if I was on a roller coster, suddenly I would have a thought about her, and tears would run down my face, wondering how I could have been a better daughter, thinking how I wish I could hug her one more time, or the lament of all the times I did hug her but wanted to flee.

The saying “if only” meant a lot to me today. If only one more chance to make it right, if only one more birthday, one more opportunity to say “I love you”.

I really longed to be held today. I made the mistake of thinking that today one person in particular would care and chose me, instead this person chose to go to “Trivia night” which they clearly described just last night as something to do, a weekly thing, not a big deal.

I don’t know about you, but my Mother’s birthday only happens once a year, and the first after her passing is only once, yet this person who claims to love me, and want me in their life chose “Trivia night” over being with me and show me emotional support.

At this point after making many efforts, clearly verbalizing my needs and still my needs have not been met. All I can say is “Adios!”

Note to self: NEVER will I beg, fight or plead to be loved and shown human courtesy. A man with a lack of character, loyalty, and integrity can as Beyonce said so eloquently “To the left”.

I will always love you , Mom!!! I am assured you finally know how much.

Thankful, Grateful & Blessed!

The 3 Most Intuitive Zodiac Signs (Their Sixth Sense Is Not a Joke)

By Stephanie Sengwe

Ever get a “feeling” that something is…off? Or someone’s energy just doesn’t sit well with you? If your gut is usually right, then you might be gifted with the power of intuition. You’re not exactly Phoebe Halliwell (hey, we can’t all see the future), but your sixth sense is so on point, your friends think you’re psychic. While we’re all equipped with the power of intuition to some extent, some people’s antennas are little more attuned, which could have everything to do with their zodiac signs. Check out the three most intuitive signs to see whose ability to sniff out the B.S. is written in the stars.

1. Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Ever the nurturer, Cancer is a homebody who likes things that are cozy, comfortable and familiar. So, when there is even the slightest change in behavior, Cancer notices. It could be in the subtle ways you didn’t hold her hand or the way you said, “Hi,” without making eye contact. No matter how big or small the change is, you better believe an intuitive Cancer has already picked up on it—even if you never uttered a word about it. Had a bad day? Dreading a phone call? The crab can read the writing on the wall as clear as day. Good thing, though, because Cancers also happen to be the best sign to lay your emotional conundrums on—they can easily relate and are ready and more than willing to let you pour your heart out.ADVERTISING

 2. Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)

Known for their empathic strengths, changes in the atmospheric energy don’t make it past this water sign. Whether you’re secretly obsessing over that one mistake you made at work or you’re not over a particular argument, Pisces are so in tune that they can tell something is wrong before you even realize it. This water sign is also ruled by Neptune, the planet of fantasy, so it’s no surprise when—for better or for worse—they dream about something long before it happens. Pisces are known to be moody, and while that’s often fueled by their desire to be alone, sometimes it’s actually because they’re picking up on the energy around them.

3. Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

Though widely known to be secretive and mysterious about their own lives, Scorpios are ironically masters at sniffing out everyone else’s deepest, darkest secrets. Scorpio intuition is more about vibes, so often times they can sense trouble brewing before it even nears the surface. Think long and hard before you tell your Scorpio friend you’ve reconciled with your on-again, off-again boyfriend for the millionth time. She might reveal some deep truths you are not ready to hear just yet. And don’t even bother lying to a Scorpio, they’re naturally inquisitive, so any inkling that you’re withholding information and you’re immediately persona non grata

How How Perception Can Fool Us In So Many Ways

By Patricia Hargraves

Unravelling the symbols

The container in this statement can be thought of as a symbolic reference to a receptacle or the corresponding receptivity of a person towards an issue, message, solution, or knowledge. So for example, if the container happens to be made of red glass, then the water inside will appear to be red, which has nothing to do with the real color of water which is a transparent colorless liquid. This ‘coloring of water’, can be viewed as a symbolic reference to the many misconceptions and preconceptions that exist in the mind of the observer, which has nothing to do with reality. There are often many sources of such misconceptions, like for example cultural and social beliefs, such as dogma and superstitions that color the reality behind the observations or experiences of a person.

It’s precisely these filters that often act as barriers to understanding people’s experiences, which then can become obstacles in conveying their experiences to others, no matter the source of the experiences. In order for a spiritual seeker to become clear of these filters, the seeker needs to evolve to the level of a gnostic rational scientist. In the sense that, just as a scientist conducts their experiments in a sterile laboratory, the seeker must initially clear their mind-set from all superstitions and dogma. As in this analogy, the laboratory for spiritual experiences is the physical body of the seeker, and the senses used for such observations are both the inner, and the outer senses of the person. Where the inner senses are a reference to the senses of the metaphysical dimension of each person that are activated during spiritual exercises, like deep meditation.

Otherwise, the experiences of the seeker can be colored, just as the colored glass colors the water it contains. Thus, the reality that is the basis of a seeker’s experiences, even though it is in actuality their true Self, can be covered and misunderstood. This is an issue that is often faced by all seekers who are interested in the comparative analysis of the spiritual experiences of different practitioners from different paths. As even though the spiritual journey, regardless of the path, has the same point of departure, destination, and many common way-stations, often when the seeker comes to describe their experiences, they tend to give it a color based on their culture, social or even religious background. That often has nothing to do with the essence of their experience, which invariably is a personal encounter with the different layers of their own consciousness or the phenomena that gives each person their ultimate sense of awareness, which is commonly referred to as the soul.

The journey is endless

The other aspect of the above-mentioned phrase that needs to be examined, is the capacity of the container. As the container in question is also a symbolic representation of the unique physical and metaphysical aptitudes which we all possess as human beings. Some of which are waiting to be discovered as a result of a person’s spiritual journey. However, what tends to happen is that a seeker makes judgements on their experiences, based on the capacity of their aptitudes, or based on the way-station they have arrived at. Not realizing that each seeker’s journey is an endless journey, and thus every observation, no matter the station from which the seeker is making it, is always a relative observation. All of us, regardless of our levels, are exploring the infinite. And thus even during the advanced stages of the journey, where the drop representing our individual consciousness is connected to the ocean of the Universal Consciousness, it nevertheless always remains the experience of a drop in relation to an infinite ocean.

Faced with this realty, the seeker’s only way forward is through their inner humility, and realization that no matter what their level, there are always others who are further along the path, thus making absolute remarks about a relative experience will only lead to a dangerous detour. For as Jesus famously said to his apostles: ‘The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted .’ (Matthew 23:10-12)

Therefore, all spiritual seekers need to learn from these wise words by becoming aware of their inherent relativity and staying humble while they continue their inner journey. By keeping their humility and continuing their journey they will realize the actual capacity of their vessel also increases due to divine mercy. All of which should be viewed as the means by which the Higher Consciousness encourages each seeker to maintain their journey.

The point of Unity

Another important aspect of the phrase that needs to be examined is the water itself. Which by definition is a formless, transparent substance. This part of the phrase is a symbolic reference to the reality of our own essence, which is an invisible, formless reality. Therefore, the only way to understand this reality and experience it is it to move beyond our worldly obsession with forms like gender, race, creed etc. For as long as each of us are obsessed by form, we fail to understand and appreciate the underlying Unity that is running through each of us, and indeed the whole universe. Thus, as a seeker we must not only seek to experience this reality, but also help to act as a bridge to our society by lowering barriers that result from the over emphasis, or misuse of forms such as gender, race, and etc. We do this through sympathy and empathy, whilst at the same time trying to act as a positive fulcrum for equal opportunities that help to reduce these barriers through our efforts.

As all seekers who have realized their own essence invariably have a true respect for the whole creation based on the Unity that they see underlying the whole universe. Furthermore, it is the level of manifestation of this Reality within each form, that this Reality uses to express itself, that is the basis of their respect. For as Saadi the famous 13th century Sufi master famously said:

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human being you cannot retain

4 Universal Principles For Conscious Loving

By Jean Farish

1) Love yourself

How we feel about ourselves is inwardly felt and outwardly expressed. Unfortunately, your reflection may reveal what is untrue about who you really are. To return to your natural state of being, make a commitment to a loving relationship with yourself. This means being aware of how you treat yourself in every moment. Are you treating yourself well? Go inward and connect to the divine love within that is always available for you to access. The reflective self-love mirror exercise invites you to look into your own eyes and say, “I love you”. Keep a special gratitude journal with endearing expressions of self admiration. Be responsible for creating your own blissful experiences and share it with others.

2) Live your potential

Everything we do should be done in the spirit of love. Using our creative gifts and talents, to authentically serve and uplift ourselves and humanity, inspire us to fulfill our potential.  Abraham Maslow, humanistic psychologist, stated that we are all in the process of becoming, and his powerful quote speaks volumes, “One can choose to go back to safety or forward toward growthGrowth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again”. Thismeans having the courage and tenacity to enrich our lives and make full use of our potential. Known for his theory of self-actualization, Maslow states, “The values that selfactualizers appreciate include truthcreativitygoodnesswholenessalivenessuniquenessjusticesimplicityand selfsufficiency“.

Be willing to let go of who others want you to be. Discover more about yourself through curiosity, questioning, and honing and acquiring new skills. Our passion and purpose does not necessarily have to be some grandiose future goal, but can be demonstrated in small and simple acts in our daily lives. Stepping outside comfort zones and embracing challenging situations build confidence, courage, and resilience. Tune in to the wisdom of divine guidance to fulfill your aspirations, and take inspired action to fulfill your dreams and contribute to making the world better.

3) Love wholeheartedly

How can we love wholeheartedly? Many feel unloving and unlovable with underlying feelings of unworthiness. Worthiness is our divine birthright and is not dependent on external conditions and perceived worthiness to receive. The energy of love enables us to love wholeheartedly with complete sincerity, compassion, and commitment. It is an effect, pays itself back, and is everlasting.

How we feel about ourselves influence all areas of our lives including: Personal development, social, health and fitness, family, romance, finance, business and career, and recreation. It is essential to challenge limiting beliefs about love and worthiness and return to our natural state of being. Henry Drummond quotes, “As your heart is increasingly filled with and controlled by divine love your spiritual character matures”.  The extent to which you love yourself is the extent to which you can  wholeheartedly and properly love others.

4) Live by higher ideals

Love is the greatest evolutionary power.These nine ingredients comprise the Recipe for Love including: Patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, unselfishness, good temper, guilessness, and sincerity. Not one can be missing, like colors of the rainbow, to demonstrate ideal love.

How can we achieve living by higher ideals? Consciously choose love. Contemplate and immerse yourself in each ingredient in the Recipe for Love. Take for example, the ingredient of patience: What does it really mean to be patient? What does it feel like when you are being patient? How does it feel when someone is being patient with you? Feel the magnetic vibration of each ingredient of love, and be aware of how you are responding to yourself and others. Through awareness, knowledge, discipline and ceaseless practice, we can strengthen and embody the practice of love in every phase of our lives.

Conclusion – evolve in love

Aspiring to live at a higher level of consciousness is essential for our spiritual evolution. Discard faulty beliefs that influence conformity and limited beliefs and values. Become the highest expression of yourself and live in the vibration of love. Amplify your energy and radiate pure love.

Wholeheartedly love and  care for yourself and others. Be compassionate and live in harmony with yourself and fellow man. Activate and exercise your full potential by continuing to grow and learn. A final quote by Leo Buscaglia, “Man has no choice but to loveFor when he does nothe finds his alternatives lie in lonelinessdestruction and despair. A heart of love is peaceful and content. Love is success and happiness, and the greatest thing in the world

7 Ways To Heighten Your Intuition

By Meredith Zelman-Narissi

1) Trust your gut

Become a sensualist and spend time feeling your body. All your senses are engaged in intuition. Some scientists call your “gut” your “second brain”. Technically known as the enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut, or alimentary canal. The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system according to Michael Gershon, chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

Scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. Feel your stomach, your heart, your breath; they hold clues as to what you feel-think. They hold clues to intuition.

2) Meditate

Observe how your mind works. Watch your own consciousness and get comfortable with being with yourself. There are several states of consciousness. Beta is a normal level of consciousness. Alpha is relaxed awareness, Theta is a state of meditative trance, and Delta is a state of transcendental experience. Meditation practice helps you control the alpha state of relaxed awareness, and therefore it opens you to receiving the intuitive process. This can increase at each level.

3) Listen

When the intuition comes don’t second-guess the instinctual nature of your experience…accept it. True listening is a kind of curiosity, even wonderment. As you remain open and non-judgmental while listening, new ideas can spontaneously arise. Always remain open to “listening” for these cues.

4) Practice the arts

Pursue any creative endeavor. Any art involves this thinking, feeling, choice-making, without being linear, that will heighten your intuition. Supposedly, Picasso once told a friend that intuition was like having a carrier pigeon with a message land on your balcony. “The important thing is knowing that the pigeon has arrived,” he said, “You don’t even have to unroll the message.” He also said “To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing… When I find myself facing a blank page, that’s always going through my head. What I capture in spite of myself interests me more than my own ideas.”

Intuition is such a crucial, essential ingredient for artists, and as they create, their connection and understanding of intuition is embraced. Everyone is an artist in some sense. Explore your artistic side.

5) Acknowledge synchronicities

Write them down and you’ll see they will increase. Synchronicities, or “meaningful coincidences” play an important role in our lives. You might be working on solving a problem and the answer in spontaneously revealed to you. Perhaps you remember someone you haven’t seen in a while, and then they show up! You’re thinking of a song and it pops up on the radio, or a movie reflects some life situation you are experiencing. You can even look to synchronicities for spiritual guidance. They are often a sign that you are on the right path.

6) Analyze your dreams

See if they hold a message from your subconscious. This practice will heighten your awareness and your ability to intuit inner messages. A famous example of intuition’s dream work comes from research scientist James Watson. Watson and his partner, Frances Crick, were asking: What is the design of DNA, the chemical foundation for all life? Watson’s symbolic dream of two intertwined snakes and his correct interpretation of the double helix provided a key to all life.

Another dream inspiration came to Elias Howe, one of the first inventors of the sewing machine. He had trouble with the needle’s hole and thread. In Elias Howe’s dream he was taken prisoner by a group of natives who were dancing around him with spears- spears that had a hole at the tip end of the spear, not the top!

7) Share your intuitions, act on them, and see what happens

We all have “a-ha” moments, eureka insights, and immediate understandings of something we were missing before. Spontaneous answers come more frequently as you open to them. Many stories of inventions, mathematical solutions, and hints of romance have changed the world. They came as intuitions. Share your ideas, contemplate them, and if appropriate, follow your instincts and take action!

May your intuitions continue to guide you safely on your path.